Nothing is more frustrating to construction managers than waking up to stolen machines, tools or materials.
To stop theft from construction sites, every project should dedicate time and funds to anti-theft measures. However...
Many of these are overly comprehensive: Setting up tall fences and floodlights or bringing in private security companies and barking dogs sometimes just attracts more attention.
The most effective ways are sometimes more subtle – and less expensive.
Here are three easy ways to stop theft from construction sites without turning them into a fortress – or costing you a fortune.
1. Keep your construction site safe by keeping it orderly and cleaned up
We all know the sign: ‘Your mother doesn’t work here: clean up after yourself’. But who should have known it was an effective way to prevent theft on construction sites too.
Keeping your site clean and orderly not only makes it safer. It also makes it harder for thieves to steal when machines, tools or materials are not lying scattered about on your site ready to pick up.
As a manager, maintain order on your site by assigning spaces for all your assets according to type. Keep machines in one place, materials in another and tools in a third, for example a secure storage box.
Encourage your teams to return assets to their right place when the day is over.
In this way, you make your construction site more effective and safer – and much less attractive to thieves.
2. Do not have materials delivered outside working hours – packed and ready for the thieves
Materials for construction projects are expensive these days. This makes them extra interesting for thieves.
A huge inconvenience with this in mind is the fact that recently delivered materials on construction sites are often very easy to get to. Often they are either left unpacked, neatly stacked and ready to transport close to an exit, or sometimes even delivered outside working hours and therefore not even on the actual site itself.
A straightforward way to stop theft from construction sites is to start making it much harder for the thieves than this.
But it is a complicated process ordering materials for your construction project. It often involves many different couriers delivering from different outlets.
However, always insist and plan with the courier to have materials delivered during normal working hours. This ensures that someone is always around to unpack them or place them in a safe place for the night.
If couriers cannot guarantee delivery within a satisfying time frame, ensure with clear signage on your site that drop-offs are only allowed within specified hours. In this way, the responsibility of the materials remains with the courier.
3. Prevent theft on construction sites by installing IoT devices with GPS and geofence technology
Keeping your project site in order and planning the delivery of materials are free and effective ways to stop theft on construction sites.
A third solution, which has a very short return on investment, is installing IoT data loggers and tracking devices on your key machines, important hydraulic tools or on selected materials. IoT means that your assets will be connected to the internet, where you can see their position on a map.
Devices come with a software solution where you can set a geofence around your site and receive alarms by text or e-mail if assets are removed. You can even choose to receive alarms if assets are moving around outside working hours.
In the case of theft, devices furthermore give you the possibility of recovering your assets. Devices with GPS, cell-tower triangulation, and RFID radio beacon technology have the best location-based services and will locate even assets that have been hidden or stored away in hard-to-reach places.
These days, IoT devices are both battery-powered and robust enough for the construction industry. And as a bonus they can also count your running hours to help you perform predictive maintenance to your machines and hydraulic tools.
Managers are the key to stopping theft on construction sites – not fences or floodlights
Many guides will offer comprehensive solutions to stop theft on construction sites. However, we put the manager at the forefront of the anti-theft solution – not fences or floodlights.
Take it upon yourself to protect your site by making it harder for the thieves. Implement these three steps and use the best anti-theft tools available.
If you are new to IoT data loggers and tracking devices, make sure to check out the guide Digitalize your construction business.
Made to perform in the construction industry, these devices will provide you not only with effective anti-theft measures. They will give you the possibility of measuring running hours, perform automated service intervals and predictive maintenance, and even solve many of the typical sources of delays in a construction project.
You do not need to turn your project sites into fortresses to keep then safer from thieves.
Keep your site safe by keeping it orderly and having tools and materials stored away on the site at night.
Invest in a discreet IoT tracking solution to enjoy an effective digital solution that enables recovery if the thief has been to your site.